Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 21:58

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COUNCILLOR JOHN NICHOLSON

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WARD MEMBER FOR COWES SOUTH & NORTHWOOD

MEMBER OF IW PLANNING COMMITTEE

MEMBER OF HEALTH AND COMMUNITY WELLBEING SCRUTINY PANEL

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SUNNYSIDE

PALLANCE LANE

NORTHWOOD

PO31 8LT
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Tel: 01983 209642 (evenings best)
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Email: cllr.john.nicholson@btconnect.com

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See the I.W.Councillor’s section

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WARD REPORT – AUGUST 2016

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New Turn for Remedial Work to New Road Surfaces
It seems that I am not alone in campaigning for tougher action against the way that Utility Companies blight our roads with ‘essential’ works. It seems that London got so fed up with the disruption caused by such works that they decided to levy a daily charge for the duration, with the amazing result of around 50% reduction in times. The initiative has proved so successful that the LGA (Local Government Association) is seeking that all Local Authorities have the power to charge the same. I would go further, and charge for poor workmanship as well, like the appalling mess that has been made by ‘essential’ repairs on the new road surface on the bend in Nodes Road. I think we would soon see another miraculous improvement. Let’s tell the truth, is not the reason for many of these essential repairs due to decades of poor maintenance and network management, at the public’s expense, anyway?
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It’s not Just What You Eat
There is a lot of great work that goes on in the Country that is world class, and just seems to get brushed over by our establishment. Amongst the countless examples is the outstanding work of Professor Tim Spector of Kings College and St Thomas’ Hospital, in London.  The author of the recently released book The Diet Myth, Professor Spector has carried out significant research into diet and, more particularly, the importance of our gut flora; the microbes that inhabit our digestive system. His work is set to change the way that we look at our health, physiology and wellbeing, with such ground-breaking results as, for example, transplanting gut microbes from a fat person into a thin person, or vice-versa, can cause the recipient to gain or lose weight respectively. His research also shows that microbes can be responsible for controlling diseases and ailments, as they affect hormones and the chemical balance of our bodies. One of the best bits in the book for me was confirmation that red wine (and Real Ale, no doubt), taken in moderate Mediterranean proportion, can actually improve the diversity and strength of your gut bacteria, and your overall health and wellbeing as a result (I knew there was a good medical reason why I favour Real Ale and red wine so much!).
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Joking aside, this phenomenal bit of research is a live, ongoing project, in fact professor Spector is running a piece of research at the moment called the British Gut Project – www.britishgut.org – in which anyone can join (for a fee). If you sign up, you get a full analysis and profiling of your gut microbes, looking at DNA and RNA – full details are on the website.
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The significance is profound. One example he gives from his research is the implications and effect on health that a simple change of diet can cause, citing a farmer, who had always worked outside; his wife did the cooking. When his wife died, never having cooked himself, his diet changed, so did his microbes, which caused the onset of obesity, ailments, and complications culminating in an untimely death. So, this could happen to anyone who suffers loss or change in circumstances and resultant change in diet and alteration to their balance of microbes; someone struggling at home on their own, for example, with a change to live off convenience food, it might even apply to the change in diet when someone goes into care. The point is that we are all different, and diet is something very personal, as is our microbial balance.
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I am talking with our health professionals on the significance of Professor Spector’s research; how it might benefit the Island. Professor Spector has already indicated that he would be willing to work on a project with us.
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The Broken Leg Saga
Thank you to all who have thoughtfully bid me a speedy recovery (even offering to help with the shopping). The leg is well on the mend, but, due to the severity of the fractures, will take a bit longer. Once you get used to it, in a routine, you can accommodate. What I didn’t anticipate though was problems with my back, which, according to the specialist, may have been due to the impact at the time of the accident; so, a problem waiting to happen. And, when it did, brought sciatica to my good leg. Never having suffered from sciatica before, I can now really sympathise with all those people who suffer. The broken leg was nothing compared with that! Being in my good leg, there was no getting away from it. What can you do; you can’t put weight on your broken leg and, neither, on the good one because of the raging pain in it. Anyway, with a bit of manipulation, time, and, I must say, the unexpected relief that a strong fresh cup of decent ground coffee seemed to bring, all is well on the up. I plan to resume my doorstep visits, as soon as I am fit to walk and drive again.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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